Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Dremel 8200 Cordless Rotary Tool Review

Dremel has been the leader in the rotary tool market for some time, and the introduction of the new 8200 Lithium-ion Cordless Rotary Tool kit means that they now have an even wider appeal. While their existing lineup, including the popular Dremel 4000-2/30 High Performance Kit, is very capable, the 8200 allows a portability not found in previous incarnations from the company. Partially, this is because their other cordless tools, particularly the 7.2V MultiPro and 4.8V MiniMite, all fell short when it came to power and longevity. Even the 10.8V, while technically very similar to the 8200 in power and capacity, carried the same 3-hour charge time for its Lithium-ion batteries. Now, Dremel has borrowed from parent company Bosch, integrating their 12V Max technology, and bringing its latest cordless rotary tool’s recharge time down to a manageable one-hour.

Dremel 8200-1 Cordless Rotary Tool Review

Dremel has been the leader in the rotary tool market for some time, and the introduction of the new 8200 Lithium-ion Cordless Rotary Tool kit means that they now have an even wider appeal. While their existing lineup, including the popular Dremel 4000-2/30 High Performance Kit, is very capable, the 8200 allows a portability not found in previous incarnations from the company. Partially, this is because their other cordless tools, particularly the 7.2V MultiPro and 4.8V MiniMite, all fell short when it came to power and longevity. Even the 10.8V, while technically very similar to the 8200 in power and capacity, carried the same 3-hour charge time for its Lithium-ion batteries. Now, Dremel has borrowed from parent company Bosch, integrating their 12V Max technology, and bringing its latest cordless rotary tool’s recharge time down to a manageable one-hour.


Make no mistake, this is a big deal and truly revamps the potential and practicality of Dremel’s cordless rotary tool line. To get a nice overview of the available cordless Dremel products, let’s lay them out in a grid to compare:

820010.8VStylus7.2V MultiPro4.8V MiniMite
Voltage12V (max)10.8V
(12V max)
7.2V7.2V4.8V
RPM5-30k RPM5-35k RPM5-25k RPM10k/20k RPM6.5k/13k RPM
Weight1 lb. 6 oz.14 oz.9 oz.11 oz.9 oz.
Charge Time
1 hour3 hours3 hours3 hours3 hours

While the 8200 is certainly heavier than the other cordless rotary tools, it’s really just more robust. It feels sturdy, similar to what we experienced in our Dremel MultiMax review, which we praised  last year.

Dremel 8200 Cordless Rotary Tool Build Quality

Continuing in our discussion of build quality, it was apparent when we picked up the Dremel 8200 that it was built to be used a lot more than prior cordless rotary tools I’d experienced. The tool is the new gray and black coloring that exists on their MultiMax tool, and emphasizes a more “serious” styling than the previous blue-accented black models. There is a lot of black rubber overmold underneath the tool where your fingers wrap around the tool during two-handed use. And Dremel really did well to make this tool easy to use with both hands for a steady cut or for when you are performing more intricate work like detail sanding or grinding. And by “easy to use” I mean that you really can have a rock-solid grip on this tool. That’s mostly due to the excellent shaping of the tool from its midriff on back. I’ll describe it form a right-handed perspective, but just realize that it’s completely ambidextrous. There is a slight groove cut into it that perfectly fits the first few fingers of your left hand while your right thumb nestles easily into the oval detent provided for the power slide-switch. Your right hand wraps neatly around the tool as well, resulting in an almost relaxed baseball-style golf club grip. You have tons of control.

The slide switch is efficient and worked well, even with gloved hands. Above it lies the shaft lock button which facilitates easy bit changes with the included collet wrench (for which there is no on-tool storage, unfortunately). As we found out later, you really need to crank the nut down fully in order to get a durable grip on the bit and avoid slips. One thing we didn’t get was the sliding speed switch. While it is super easy to slide and well-placed, we couldn’t help but notice its rather wide opening where dust and sanded material just loved to collect. We didn’t have any problems in the time that we used the tool, but it looked as if it wouldn’t take long for the switch to collect enough material to generate some problems.

Just above the speed dial is the battery indicator which lights up with the charge remaining each time the tool is switched on. Oddly enough it doesn’t time out, but rather stays lit during the entire time the tool is used. We also noted, with glee, that it appeared to be a true, real-time voltage meter – even dropping bars when shifting from low speed into high speed. Then, when we dropped the speed back down it once again went from one bar to two.

Around the speed dial is a stainless steel U-shaped hanger that is well-secured against the side of the tool, but flips up easily when you get underneath it with your nails to pry it free. The hanger extends about 2-inches above the base of the tool when hung upside down and can be used to hold the tool when using the Flex-Shaft flexible extension shaft.


The slot for the sliding speed switch just begs for dust and debris collection

The 12V Max battery is easily removed from the base of the tool by squeezing the sides and pulling it out. As we mentioned, the form factor is very close to that of the Bosch 12 Max line, but more importantly, that means that Dremel is able to benefit form the research its parent company is putting into lithium-ion battery technology. If the 300% reduction in charge time is any indication, this is the best move the company has yet made with respect to its cordless tools.

Accessories

At the top of the tool Dremel has an overmolded nose cap that unscrews to allow for any number of accessories to be added to the tool. The 8200 is compatible with all Dremel accessories and attachments, including the high-performance MultiSaw and Planer attachments. The included collet fits all of the included 1/8-inch accessories and we found that we could easily get the collet nut off with enough force while using the shaft lock button and giving it a firm twist. In terms of actual accessories, the Dremel 8200 comes with 28 – not a bad starter kit if you ask us. It also comes with an EZ Lock Mandrel, which we love since it’s so easy to load and unload sanding and cutting disks and other compatible accessories. As we used it, the 8200 quickly became more and more compelling to us, especially when we considered how it would be received by someone who’s never before had a Dremel rotary tool.

There are two kits available for the Dremel 8200 series in addition to the bare tool which is available at some retailers. The $99 8200-1 Kit, which we reviewed, comes with the 28 accessories, case and cutting guide. The 8200-2 includes an extra 12V Max battery and also a right angle attachment and sells for around $149.


Testing and Use

We don’t do a ton of project work, so forgive us if we didn’t carve out a hand-made hart with paperclip antlers and a custom engraved base. What we did do was take it on several jobsites and see what we could apply it to. Turns out, when you need a Dremel, nothing else will suffice. We found ourselves on a job where we were re-glazing a window. Not the kind of thing you naturally imagine when contemplating the use of a rotary tool. After looking at the job, however, it became apparent that once we took out the old, crumbling glaze, the best tool for cleaning out the frame and readying it for the new glass was the Dremel 8200. Without missing a beat I pulled it out of my truck and slapped in the 12V battery. Using one of the included sanding discs, we turned the inside of the window frame and removed a majority of the loose paint so that the new glaze had a place to bond.

Dremel 8200 Cordless Rotary Tool

We next used the included drywall cutting bit to cut out a hole for a switch in 1/2-inch sheet rock where we were adding a new light in a hallway. This is a fairly standard use for a Dremel tool for construction pros and do-it-yourselfers, but having a cordless tool that packed plenty of power made for a quick solution that didn’t require us locating an outlet or dragging a cord. During the use of this tool we ran up against a stud which taxed the blade more than it was designed for. At this time the collet slipped and allowed the bit to spin. Cranking down the collet nut with the included wrench solved the problem, but it’s important to note that you need to make sure the nut is very tight. I simply love the portability of this tool and found myself reaching for it over my corded model every time.

Conclusion

Dremel’s 8200 Cordless Rotary Tool is a great solution for those who use a rotary tool for craft projects as well as those who need something for the occasional household repair or upgrade. We found it to be quick, reliable, and a really great bargain for its $99 asking price. The bits included with this kit will definitely get you started and the low cost of entry had us putting a value rating of 9/10 on this tool – a rare score from Pro Tool Reviews. For raw Performance we awarded it a 8/10 since it did very well in the tasks we gave it, but could still benefit from some slight refinements. Nobody’s perfect, but the Dremel 8200 Cordless Rotary Tool Kit is really close.

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